Borders

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There were borders everywhere

Borders of water, of steel, of brick, of money and of mind

Borders that were meant for defining, for declaring lines you and others could not cross

 

Over the sandstone brick wall, across the railway line lived the park people

Snotty, scabby looking folk – they feared to tread on our turf; most did

They had the club and the park, we invaded them at will, walking proud on our way to school

 

At the other end of the street ran the river

This was ours and ours alone. Our playground, our battle-line, here we reigned supreme

Here lived Pikey Joe, a most hideous child killer that no one ever saw, but we all heard

 

Beyond the river, in another world, lived the rich kids

They had cartwheels in the garden and jam on the table; that’s what me mam said

Their children were not fighters, they were too busy playing tennis while we bashed buckets

 

Our street was the safest place to be

We, as one, all together, through winters, spring, autumn and summers

Here flashers would be chastened by mothers chasing them with kitchen knives

 

Here matriarchs ruled the roost, while men strutted vainly

You were known by your father’s name, but schooled in life by distaff teachers

They taught you the rules, but encouraged you to break social boundaries – punk matrons all

 

Over the tip were mysterious places

The scrap yard, where copper glistened, and you got pennies for rags

The smell of battery acid blended with horse sweat and warm leather; and fag smoke

 

And the wood shed, O the wood shed!

Slip through the gap and inhale the sweet pine perfume

Shavings, soft underfoot, betrayed the savagery of the steel blade ripping through former trees

 

To the west lay the back tip

Once a garden of delights that fed our fathers as kids

Here we made dens, stayed out till late and built the biggest bonfires for miles around

 

Borders kept us safe, kept us together

We built them and broke them at will, this was our land

Now they are gone, and we dispersed, our childhood shadows left to roam – but not alone

bordersChildhood

◄ Walk on part

Watering Can ►

Comments

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Graham Parker

Fri 12th Apr 2019 11:58

Thanks Laura and Frank, I like this place. And thank you to those that took the time to read and this and liked it.

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Laura Taylor

Thu 11th Apr 2019 14:12

Gorgeous. Glad you got yourself on here 😃

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Frank Prem

Thu 11th Apr 2019 11:33

Well described Graham. The certainties and clarity of defined boundaries is sorely missed, despite the inequities they entrenched.

Enjoyed.

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